Striped bass are versatile sport fish. For some anglers, they’re also eating fish. Anglers can catch bass in the surf with custom plugs and poppers, or they can drop a fly in front of a striper on a shallow flat. Big striped bass also chomp hefty live baits. Soft plastics, epoxy jigs and metal lures catch fish too. I think you get the idea — there are many ways to catch stripers.
The anglers highlighted below tested their tackle and skills to catch some of the biggest striped bass to ever swim. As you might have guessed, the majority of records come from the Atlantic Coast, north of Virginia. Have you considered going after a striped bass record? Some striper world records are still unclaimed. For example, the All-Tackle Length fly world record is vacant currently. Let’s dive into the record catches:
The Biggest Striped Bass Ever Caught
- Who: Gregory Myerson
- What: 81-pound, 14-ounce striped bass
- When: August 4, 2011
- Where: Long Island Sound, Westbrook, Connecticut
- How: Drifting Long Island Sound with a live eel
“After a 15-minute fight, I got the striped bass close enough to the boat for netting,” said Gregory Myerson, when submitting his world record application to the International Game Fish Association. “The fish was bigger than I thought. I slipped on eel slime and banged my ribs against the gunwale of the boat. But it didn’t matter. The monster fish was mine.”
Men’s 20-Pound Line Class World Record Striper
- Who: Albert McReynolds
- What: 78-pound, 8-ounce striped bass
- Where: Atlantic City, New Jersey
- When: September 21, 1982
- How: Casting a plug from a jetty
Albert McReynolds didn’t need a boat to make history when he landed a 78-pound, 8-ounce striped bass from an Atlantic City, New Jersey jetty. The year was 1982 and he was casting a Rebel 5.5-inch plug when the monster hit. Apparently, he was also fishing in the midst of a Nor’easter. It took him two hours to land the fish. Until 2011, McReynolds’ catch was the All-Tackle world record.
Men’s 50-Pound Line Class World Record Striped Bass
- Who: Robert Rocchetta
- What: 76-pound striped bass
- When: July 17, 1981
- Where: Montauk, Long Island, New York
- How: Drifting a live eel from a boat
Robert Rocchetta was fishing from his 24-foot boat Rainbow II near Montauk Point when the massive striped bass ate his live eel he used as bait. The story goes that Rocchetta was using a brand new reel and had line tangles close to the spool. Instead of the snapping his line during long runs, the striped bass towed his boat around until it finally tired.
Men’s 30-Pound Line Class World Record Striper
- Who: John Baldino
- What: 71-pound striped bass
- When: July 14, 1980
- Where: Norwalk, Connecticut
- How: Fishing live bunker for bait
John Baldino used a live menhaden (bunker) for bait, and was fishing off Norwalk, Connecticut, when the record 71-pound striped bass hit. His catch sits atop the 30-pound line class IGFA world record. From the photo, notice the classic Shakespeare rod and Penn reel he used to catch the hulking striper.
Men’s 12-Pound Tippet Fly Fishing World Record Striped Bass
- Who: Beryl Bliss
- What: 64-pound, 8-ounce striped bass
- When: July 28, 1973
- Where: Smith River, Oregon
- How: Fly fishing a homemade bucktail fly
Beryl Bliss was fishing the Smith River in Umpqua, Oregon, when he landed his gargantuan bass on a homemade bucktail fly. Striped bass are not native to Oregon. Striped bass were introduced to the West Coast in 1878 when 132 fry were released in San Francisco Bay, according to the the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Bliss record fish measured 49.5 inches, with a 32.75-inch girth. His fish is the largest striped bass ever landed on fly.
Women’s 30-Pound Line Class World Record Striper
- Who: Rosa Webb
- What: 64-pound, 8-ounce striped bass
- When: August 14, 1960
- Where: North Truo, Massachusetts
- How: Fishing a live mackerel
A run of hefty-size stripers in the summer of 1960 had anglers landing 50-pounders at the offshore bars near North Truro, Massachusetts. Surf fishermen used small aluminum boats to find the school. Angling friends Kay Townsend and Rosa Webb, both landed 60-plus-pounders on the same day, with Webb’s larger by more than a pound. Both fish were taken on live mackerel.
Women’s 50-Pound Line Class World Record Striped Bass
- Who: Asie Espenak
- What: 64-pound striped bass
- When: June 27, 1971
- Where: Sea Bright, New Jersey
- How: Soaking a menhaden for bait
Asie Espenak holds the record for the second heaviest striper ever recorded by a female angler. She caught the 64-pound striped bass fishing out of Sea Bright, New Jersey, using menhaden as bait. Espenak whipped the fish in about 30 minutes before landing and harvesting it. Espenak’s striped bass was so big, it was easier for two anglers to hold the fish for a photo.
Men’s Junior World Record Striper
- Who: Ted Carroll
- What: 60-pound striped bass
- When: July 26, 2010
- Where: Fishers Island, Connecticut
- How: Live-lining a live eel for bait
Ted Carroll was 14 years old when he landed his 60-pound striped bass in 2010 off Fishers Island, Connecticut. Junior IGFA world records are available for both male and female anglers aged 11-16. It took Carroll about 10 minutes to conquer the record fish that ate a live eel. He used a Shimano Baitrunner spinning reel to land the striped bass.
Women’s 20-Pound Tippet Fly Fishing World Record Striper
- Who: Joan M. Sharrott
- What: 39-pound striped bass
- When: July 3, 2015
- Where: Highlands, New Jersey
- How: Casting with a bunker imitation fly
Joan M. Sharrott is an accomplished angler, with a couple different women’s fly fishing records to her name. In 2015, she was fishing out of the boat Skippy II, off the coast of Highlands, New Jersey, when the mega striped bass ate her bunker imitation fly. After landing the striper, Sharrott brought the catch to a nearby tackle shop for an exact weight.
Men’s All-Tackle Length World Record Striped Bass
- Who: Mark Alexander Foster
- What: 124-centimeter (about 49 inches) striped bass
- When: January 15, 2020
- Where: Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
- How: Trolling live eels for bait
Anglers don’t have to kill remarkable catches to get into the record books — the IGFA has length records that allow anglers to measure and release catches. In 2020, Mark Alexander Foster broke the IGFA All-Tackle Length record twice. In January, he caught-and-released 122- and 124-centimeter striped bass within a week’s time. The stripers were measured to the fork in the tail. Both fish were caught trolling live eels near Cape Charles, Virginia.
Editor’s Note: Anglers interested in supporting sport fishing worldwide should consider buying a membership to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Salt Water Sportsman is a strong supporter of the IGFA and their mission. IGFA members receive access to the IGFA World Record database, historical videos, a monthly International Angler digital publication, and discounts on tackle and charters from IGFA partners.